Our professional’s corner this month features Sita Brand, a storyteller, theatre-maker and writer.  And that got us thinking about what a story actually is, especially in musical terms. We think a story has to involve some kind of change. A story has a starting point or scene, then events, and an ending where something is different. A description of a landscape can be beautiful (through words or music), but is not a story; the story is how the landscape came to look as it does.

There’s plenty of music that tells a story (without any words); sometimes the music was inspired by a written story or poem, and sometimes not.

One musical example that might be familiar to many is the Sorcerer’s Apprentice. This is well known because of its use in the Disney film Fantasia, though it was written in 1897, and the film follows the poem; the apprentice is left by the sorcerer to do obviously boring chores, so he casts spells to animate objects to do the work… and quickly loses control. On the sorcerer’s return, order is restored and the apprentice has learned his lesson; leave the spells to the expert.  The last few seconds almost seem to be the sorcerer saying ‘don’t do that again!’:

What or who are some of your favourite musical stories and / or storytellers? Let us know!